On Thursday, June 17 a group of Central New Yorkers will participate in the Jewish Fast for Gaza. They will join with people throughout the U.S. and around the world who are heeding the call by a group of rabbis, Jews, and other people of conscience who have committed to undertake a monthly fast in support of ending the blockade that prevents the entry of civilian goods and services into Gaza.
The blockade of Gaza returned to the international spotlight in late May when Israeli forces attacked a flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza. On June 14, the International Committee of the Red Cross released a statement reading in part, "The whole of Gaza's civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law."
Carole Resnick is one of those fasting. She notes, "During my fast I will remember the great privilege it is to live without war at my doorstep, with enough food on the table, and with the opportunity to exercise the democratic right to object to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the blockade and separation wall, and the US' monetary support of these efforts."
Debra George, another faster describes her motivation, "As a non-Jew it was fascinating to me to learn why fasting is so important as a response to crisis. I'm very interested in participating because citizen solidarity has proven over the ages to be more powerful than governments. As a woman of faith I believe prayer is more powerful than petitions. As individuals of different faiths, who sometimes feel powerless, participating in this fast can turn a single voice into a united public outcry that will usher in truth, justice and peace for Palestine and Israel."
Locally the fast is being supported by Syracuse Jews for Peace and CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel. For more information, see www.peacecouncil.net/pal-is or call 472-5478.